Trotskist sf author Mieville interviewed

Sf editor Lou Anders (whose Live Without a Net was one of the best sf anthologies of 2003 — a collection of futuristic stories set in world without the Internet) has interviewed the Trotskyist sf/f author China Mi´ville (his King Rat is an enchanting love poem to London). It's a great, wide-ranging interview, concerned with politics, literature and rousing nerd pride — fascinating.

The whole good-versus-bad morality thing, you have to be very careful or else you end up sounding incredibly trite. People have criticized me for being too morally simplistic and for depicting the government as wholly evil and my goodies as wholly good. I don't think it's fair to say that my goodies are wholly good. As for the government being wholly evil, I can see that there's maybe a sort of pantomime element to some of the government in, say, Perdido Street Station. I don't think it's the case with The Scar or Iron Council. Particularly with the figure of Weather Wrightby, but also with the figure of the Lovers in The Scar, there's an attempt to say this is not about this person being a bastard, this is about this person being a representation of social forces that for the purposes of this book represent the enemy of the protagonist. What I don't necessarily do is spend a long time getting into their psychology, and that's partly because the book is from the protagonists' opposing point of view. It is a book about the depiction of revolutionary fervor, and therefore the book relates to Weather Wrightby and the Mayor as enemies because so do the protagonists. It doesn't mean that they are snarling, Dickensian pantomime villains. But it's also the case, as you say, that they don't necessarily get punished any more than the good get rewarded. Nor necessarily do they get rewarded. The abstract schema of morality fits very imperfectly over what I think of as a kind of concrete morality of political and social circumstances.


(Thanks, Lou!)